Employee Sick Pay

California Employees Entitled to Paid Sick Leave

On September 10, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law legislation requiring all California employers to provide paid sick leave to any employee who worked in California for 30 days. California becomes only the 2nd state in the country with such a requirement, which shows California’s continuing commitment to being a very pro-employee state.

Every single private-sector employee is entitled to the paid sick leave. There are no industry exceptions (yet). It applies to all workers whether full-time, part-time or seasonal. The size of the employer is irrelevant.

Here are the details:

  • Effective July 1, 2015
  • Employers must provide paid sick leave to employees who work 30 or more days within a year from the start of their employment.
  • At a minimum, paid sick time accrues at a rate of one (1) hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.
  • Employers may limit an employee’s use of paid sick leave to twenty (24) hours or three (3) days in each year of employment.
  • Employers may cap the total number of paid sick leave hours that an employee may accrue at a total of forty eight (48) hours or six (6) days.
  • Failing to comply may subject employers to enforcement actions by the Labor Commissioner and to private litigation under the Private Attorney General Act. If pursued in court, employees may be entitled to reinstatement, back pay, reimbursement for attorneys’ fee and other costs.
  • Civil penalties for failing to comply are up to $4,000 per employee.

Now is a great time to update your Employment Agreements and Employee Handbooks to reflect these changes effective July 1, 2015. If you have any questions about complying with these new employment laws with respect to paid sick leave, please do not hesitate to contact me.